Victoria, BC– People in need of affordable rental housing in Langford and Sooke will have access to 494 new homes, with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the BC government and the Capital Regional District (CRD) moving forward with four affordable housing projects as part of the Regional Housing First Program (RHFP).
Two projects in the City of Langford will have units ready for tenancy in late 2020 and two projects in the District of Sooke will be developed with units ready in 2021. The projects will provide housing for a range of people in need, including families with low and middle incomes, and people who are experiencing homelessness.
In Langford, the CRD Board has approved, in partnership with the BC government, the acquisition of two properties, one located at Spencer Road and the other at Hockley Avenue. Once construction of the buildings is complete, ownership of the shelter rate units will be assumed by the CRD under the RHFP and the remaining units will be assumed by the Capital Region Housing Corporation (CRHC). CRHC will operate 100% of the units. Details of the proposed projects include:
Estimated RHFP Contribution: $7.8 million
Total New Units: 130 (26 units at shelter rate, 40 affordable units and 64 near-market units)
Estimated RHFP Contribution: $7.2 million
Total New Units: 120 (24 units at shelter rate, 36 affordable units and 60 near-market units)
In Sooke, the CRD Board, in partnership with the BC government, has recommended land acquisition and development of two adjacent properties located at Drennan Street and Sooke Road as well as an additional property located at Throup Road. With approval of the proposed projects, BC Housing has moved forward with purchasing the land. Both projects are in the planning phase to determine the conceptual design, engineering and land-use anticipated for the sites. An Expression of Interest will be issued to non-profit housing providers to operate the properties. Details of the proposed projects include:
Estimated RHFP Contribution: $7.65 million
Total New Units: 169 (34 units at shelter rate, 52 affordable units and 83 near-market units)
Estimated RHFP Contribution: $3.375 million
Total New Units: 75 (15 units at shelter rate, 24 affordable units and 36 near-market units)
The RHFP has two projects already underway at Cedar Grove in Victoria and Croftonbrook on Salt Spring Island. These additional four projects, combined with the two previously announced projects, brings the estimated RHFP contribution amount to $35.15 million of the $90 million total.
About the Program:
The Regional Housing First Program (RHFP) is an innovative partnership initiated by equal $30 million investments from the CRD, the BC government through BC Housing, and the federal government through CMHC, under the National Housing Strategy’s Affordable Housing Innovation Fund. The program aims to eliminate chronic homelessness in southern Vancouver Island and the surrounding Gulf Islands through mixed-market housing, partnerships and streamlined support services.
Using a mixed-market approach, the program will invest up to $90 million towards projects that meet a variety of housing needs, creating mixed income communities with supported housing units within individual projects built throughout the region. The mix of rent levels will be: 20% shelter units at the provincial income assistance rate of $375, 31% affordable units and 49% near-market units. The shelter-rate units provide the down payment to initiate the project, then the revenue from all of the affordable units and near-market units in the building will cover the operating and maintenance costs of each project.
Learn more: https://www.crd.bc.ca/project/regional-housing-first-program
Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. “The Affordable Housing Innovation Fund is designed to stimulate growth in the affordable housing sector by encouraging development of new funding models and building techniques. We’re working hard with our provincial and municipal partners, and these land acquisitions and new projects build on our commitment to help make homelessness history in Victoria and the capital region.”
Honourable John Horgan, Premier and MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. “For too long, people in Langford and Sooke, and throughout the province, have been struggling to find affordable housing. I look forward to seeing construction start on these much-need homes to help us build strong, healthy communities.”
Honourable Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Partnerships like these are key to solving the housing crisis. These new homes will have a significant impact for the people in Langford and Sooke who will live in them. We will continue to work with our partners to make sure more people throughout the region have a place to call home.”
Colin Plant, CRD Board Chair. “There’s an urgent need for more housing people can afford in our region. The Regional Housing First Program enables us to create the right mix of affordable housing opportunities. This mix of housing will deliver homes that low and middle-income people can afford, while also making sure people in greatest need have access to safe, secure housing with the right support services in place to help them succeed.”
Mayor Stewart Young, City of Langford. “The affordable housing units at Hockley Avenue and Spencer Road are welcome additions to Langford’s affordable housing stock. Affordable housing remains a top priority of Langford’s City Council and this significant investment from multiple levels of government is well received and very much appreciated.”
Mayor Maja Tait, District of Sooke. “The District of Sooke is thrilled to be the home of these two new affordable housing developments. They will be a great addition to our community and provide much-needed affordable housing units to the people who need them most.”
Proud to be recognized as one of BC’s Top Employers and Canada’s Greenest Employers, the CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, foster community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region. Visit us online at www.crd.bc.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager
CRD Corporate Communications
Andrea Coutts, Senior Communications Advisor
Gabriel Teo, Senior Officer, Regional Storytelling & Visibility (West)